On Friday, ABC News’s Jonathan Karl came up with key details on the editing of the Obama administration’s post-attack Benghazi talking points. The piece sent the media’s coverage of the scandal into a higher alert. Everybody linked to it, a deep-background press briefing at the White House addressed it, and White House press secretary Jay Carney played defense against it in an on-the-record Friday afternoon briefing.
A week before, Stephen F. Hayes came up with key details on the editing of the post-attack Benghazi talking points. It didn’t particularly send the media’s coverage of the scandal into a higher alert. Granted, the ABC News report had new stuff, and even Hayes himself credited Karl with having advanced the story.
The disparity in reaction, however, was enough to prompt CNN’s Howard Kurtz to ask whether the mainstream media had pooh-poohed the Hayes exclusive because of the source: “Was it too easy for people to say, that’s the ‘Weekly Standard’?” asked Kurtz.
That’s part of it. Another part of the explanation is that the ABC News piece came right after a high-profile congressional hearing on Benghazi, anchored by a State Department whistleblower who was in Tripoli on the night the attacks unfolded.